The Chevelle Project Page 8
Gutting the interior: More evidence that there are people in this world who should NEVER be allowed to work on a car.
Boy, was I in for a treat when I gutted the interior!
What I found underneath the carpet was a first for me. Apparently, somewhere along this poor car's lifetime, someone thought it would be a good idea to lay down multiple sheets of roofing tar paper, and if that wasn't enough, they also thought it'd be a good idea to glue the tarpaper down with roofing tar!
Talk about dreading a task. But, what had to be done, had to be done, so I dove in, struggling to peel up the multiple layers of glued-down roofing tar paper. Talk about slow progress! Thank God I have a compassionate girlfriend...after seeing me out there struggling with the paper, she came out and volunteered her help. It took the two of us two solid days to get all that tar paper scraped up and to get the floors back down to their original finish.
This was the final part of the horrifying mess I found hiding underneat the carpet. Most of the tar paper had been scraped out by this point. For reference, I wound up with two FULL 35 gallon heavy-duty trashbags full of tar paper by the time we were done. This took two solid days of scraping and prying, carefully heating a small section at a time with a propane torch to help soften the tar and the tar paper so it could be scraped off.
Notice that shiny spot on the left side of the drivers footwell? That's where someone had pop-riveted a sheet of aluminum to cover up rust holes in the floorpan.
A similar "repair" had been performed on the passenger side as well.
So much for "100% rust free"!!!
The rear floorpans were partially covered in similar fashion as the front pans.
How about that butchered shifter hole?!?
At this point, I was unsure if the remnants of the shifter hole were factory or not, and if it was a factory hole, I couldn't tell if it was originally for a manual or an automatic transmission. The car arrived to me with an automatic brake pedal assembly installed, but subsequently decoding the trim tag revealed the car was in fact an original 4-speed bench seat car. This was further reaffirmed when I went to remove the brake pedal assembly and found it was only loosely bolted in place.
Luckily I managed to find a donor section of floorpan from a `67 Olds 442 on eBay that still had an original GM transmission "hump" intact, which I grafted in.
After finally getting the engine build wrapped up, it was time to get back to spinning wrenches on the car itself.
One of the other not-so-pleasant "surprises"
I was greeted with after the car arrived was some obvious signs that the car had at some point in time been hit fairly hard in the front. Notice in the pics below the wrinkled passenger side front frame horn, and a stress crack on the bottom of the passenger side frame rail just behind the front lower control arm mounting points:
It was fairly obvious that the car was going to need some professional attention to straighten out the frame. I was referred to a body & frame shop by a friend, but despite almost two months of attempting just to set up an appointment for the car, I gave up on frame shop #1. Several more phone calls resulted in another recommendation, "Dick's Paint & Body Shop" in Piqua, Ohio.
After a relatively brief conversation with the proprietor Bob Jones, I was assured the car could be quickly and (relatively) easily repaired. The car was picked up the following week, and in a mere two weeks, the repairs had been made and the car was ready to come back home.
About one week into the job, I ventured up to their shop to grab some pictures and get a first-hand report of just how extensive the frame damage really was. As the old saying goes, "it ain't good, but it could'a been worse."